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Hannibal: Primavera

“Fate and circumstance have returned us to this moment when the teacup shatters.”


Will could have made it all go away. He could have closed his eyes, put his head back and waded into the quiet of the stream. But that would have been a kind of peace, a slipping into whatever exists beyond life that’s not life, at least as we know it. And that’s not Hannibal nor is it Hannibal. He wanted us to live – a hallucination of Abigail tells Will in his hospital bed. Because living and reconciling one's life after this tragedy is way more grim but interesting! And anyway, it has to end well, and it has to end badly.

To satisfy what’s almost entirely professional curiosity, I re-watched 'Mizumono' to see what was added (or subtracted) in the kitchen scene replayed in ‘Primavera’. It's almost exactly the same, save the few shots that were from Hannibal's POV, the first time around. There's a single line of dialogue omitted the second time around when Hannibal told Abigail, in 'Mizumono', to come over to him (before he cuts her throat). An oversight? Maybe. Maybe it shows that Will's mind has reduced that awful moment to something that can't be communicated verbally. What's most certainly deliberate is the aftermath, the blood tide flood that fills the kitchen covering Will, Abigail and the stag. It fills us with sick dread for those who were not lucky enough to drown in it. It has to end every way it can.

Elegance is more important than suffering.

Is that why this show is so pretty? And the suffering is (at least) as elegant as anything else? Will's excellent mind recalls the importance of the Cappella Palantina -- severe, beautiful, and timeless and it frames most every scene in 'Primavera'. The candles, the skeleton medallion, the angular floor, the nave where Will's valentine stood, at the center of the cross increased the opulence of how fucking of their league everyone is. Will is in the literal center of Hannibal's mind palace and has no idea whatsoever what the next best move is.

Is Will Graham here because of the body at the Cappella, or is the body here because of Will Graham?

Yes. Pazzi and Will have much in common. What drives them both re: Hannibal may vary but Pazzi could be a mirror for Will in 20 years, so watch and learn, Signor Graham -- the causality of obsession, revenge, the inability to get closure. Introducing Pazzi grows the drama exponentially though. How many Pazzis are there? Both he and Will are extremely bright and terrific at profiling, there's no question of that. Their reflection to the other is a frightening image: they have both failed. There is a sadness in their scenes together. Their words cut to the quick but the acknowledgement that they both exist because of Hannibal does not rally them, it isolates them further.

A valentine written on a broken man.

There was quite a parallel made between the heart Hannibal was fervently sketching in 'Antipasto' (that became the centerpiece of 'Primavera') and the Botticelli he sketched in the murders Pazzi first became aware of Il Mostro di Firenze through. I don't suspect any of us is surprised at Hannibal's dedication to his murder craft but it seems to be this quality that draws those around him, on the other side of law and order, in the most. It personalizes this cat and mouse process in a multitude of ways. It's like saying, you're worthy of this game. Yes, YOU! Speaking of, of course Will and Hannibal meet again in the catacombs! These two are nothing if not 'a complex set of interrelated things'. But... no matter which doorway you walk though, whatever way you turn, it all looks the same, Signor Graham.

Odds and Ends:

*I thought it was great to be with Will again.

*The misdirect of Abigail was a very poignant way to show the fragility inside of Will's mind.

*There are several things swirling around Brian Reitzell this week: Here is an article in the NYT and here is a podcast where he is interviewed. Both, er, explain a lot.

*Is it possible that the visuals are getting even more dreamy, more metaphoric and more gorgeous?


Will: “The wrong thing being the right thing to do was -- was too ugly a thought.”

Will: “It's hard to grasp what would've happened, what could've happened, and in some other world did happen.”

Abigail: “Hope some of the other worlds are easier on me.” (We all do, Abigail.)

Will: “You're a long way from Florence.”
Pazzi: “You're a long way from Baltimore.”

Pazzi: “Success comes as a result of inspiration. Revelation is the development of an image, first blurred, then coming clear.”

Will: “Blame has a habit of not sticking to Hannibal Lecter.”

Will: “Hannibal follows several trains of thought at once without distraction from any and one of the trains is always for his own amusement.”

Will: “He's going to kill you, you know. I'm usually right about these things.”

Pazzi: “You are already dead, aren't you?”

Will: “Hannibal. I forgive you.”


  1. I thought this was a beautiful (of course) episode.

    Abigail's presence was really interesting, as it made me think of whether or not Hannibal was real in the crypts. I mean, of course he was. But does it matter if he was? For Will, I'm not sure if it does.

    I've been reading the books, and in the first one (Red Dragon), Jack Crawford describes Will as someone who takes on the speech patterns of the people he talks to. It's interesting to consider if he takes on their mental processes, as well. That's sort of the core of his investigative empathy, of course, but how does he turn it off? Will, alone, with Hannibal on (and in) his mind might not have a stable sense of self to return to.

  2. Josie,
    God, I hadn't even considered that Will may or may not be trapped in his own delusion (again). I agree that this is the kind of show where that would never even be the half of it.
    As an aside, I'm glad you're watching, too.
    And I haven't read 'Red Dragon' (or SOTL) since college but bought used copies of both for the beach / pool /park this summer. Your reference here reiterates how much I need to get back into RD, particularly. So, thanks!


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